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almucantar

[al-myoo-kan-ter] /ˈæl myuˌkæn tər/
noun, Astronomy
1.
a circle on the celestial sphere parallel to the horizon; the locus of all points of a given altitude.
Also called parallel of altitude.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; probably < Medieval Latin almucantarath < Arabic al-muqanṭarāt the almucantars, equivalent to al the + muquanṭarāt sundial, derivative of qanṭarah arch; replacing almicanter, Middle English almicanteras (plural) < Middle French almicantarath < Medieval Latin
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for almucantar

almucantar

/ˌælməˈkæntə/
noun
1.
a circle on the celestial sphere parallel to the horizontal plane
2.
an instrument for measuring altitudes
Word Origin
C14: from French, from Arabic almukantarāt sundial
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for almucantar

almacantar

in astronomy, any circle of the celestial sphere parallel to the horizon; when two objects are on the same almucantar, they have the same altitude. The term also refers to instruments of a pattern invented by the U.S. astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler for determining latitude or time by observing the times of transit of stars across a fixed almucantar.

Learn more about almacantar with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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